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Le Palais Transparent

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Le Palais Transparent




FREE SS 03

Julien Skrobek

"Le Palais Transparent"


Elegance is the first word that comes to my mind to describe the "Le Palais Trasparent".Julien Skrobek expands the paths of Radu Malfatti and Taku Sugimoto
exploring time and structure by placing sinewaves and guitar notes that
brake the very rich silences.Carefully constructed, "Le Palais Trasparent"
creates absorbing spaces that produce calm and intelligently suspended tensions.
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Reviews

Reviewer: Mattin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 22, 2008
Subject: Reviews:
Franz de Ward (Vital, Holland, Jan. 2008)

'Audicity under Debian' is what is said on the cover of the release by one Julien Skrobek. Into 'Audicity under Debian' he feeds the sound of guitars and sine waves. Here too there is a clever interplay of sound and silence,
although it doesn't work like a competition as with Mattin. It's not either very loud or total quietness with Skrobek. The plays loose notes on the guitar, followed by lengthy chunks of silence. As soon as the sound of the guitar
sounds, there is also the sine wave hissing and peeping about. The sounds aren't as loud as with Mattin. Certainly no easy work here going on. There is lots of silence, with very occasional and irregular intervals of sound, which
makes this a highly sort of Japanese styled release. Full attention is required for this one, otherwise you might be easily lost. But it's certainly a very fine work too. Both of these make the series quite interesting.



Bad Alchemy # 57 Feb. 2008 (Deutschland)

Ein neuer Name in Mattins Reihe for the promotion of experimental works realised using free software mit einer Composition for guitars and sine waves using Audacity under Debian. Wie schon die Vorgänger von Tim Blechmann und Kakofunk in augenfälligem Schwarz-Silber designt, operiert Skrobeks dreiviertelstündiges Triptychon mit dem Call und Response von einzelnen Gitarrennoten, ähnlich dem Reduktionismus von Taku Unami, und langem Schweigen. Nicht zufällig ist die Arbeit Radu Malfatti gewidmet, dem Altmeister der âGedachten Musikâ. Im Wechsel mit den Gitarrensounds ertönen Sinusdrones, ebenfalls gefolgt von vielen Atemzügen absoluter Stille. Oder verwandelt sich der Gitarrenklang in Sinuswellen? Auf einen Teil Klingklang kommen ca. sieben Teile Stille. Sehr meditativ das Ganze, Musik für lange Aufmerksamkeitsspannen. Denn wie würde Mattin dazwischenrufen: Attention! Donât think. Listen. Itâs high quality music.
Rigobert Dittmann


Revue & Corrigée (France)

Musicien anonyme, Julien SKROBEK sort ces jours-ci un premier disque dédicacé à Radu Malfatti, sur le label de Mattin dans la série des "free software series". Composition pour guitares et sine waves. L'instrumentation évoque l'école Onkyo, celle où Taku Sugimoto et Sachiko M déposèrent les premières ombres sonores à la fin des années 90. Cette école du silence avait contaminé la plupart des jeunes improvisateurs de Berlin à Boston, en passant par Londres et Tokyo, substituant à la logorrhée instrumentale des improvisateurs old school, une esthétique du moins. Cette approche minimale ne remettait pas seulement en jeu l'acte d'improvisation et ses techniques mais déplaçait ses praticiens dans le champ de la composition, rendant caduque toute position de principe, l'écoute de leurs pièces ne permettant aucun distinguo entre composition et improvisation. Difficile d'appréhender les gestes peignant une surface blanche. On pourrait rapprocher SKROBEK de Sugimoto, jusque dans le son de la guitare, mais surtout ils ont une même façon d'étendre des plages de silence dans leurs compositions, les sons encadrant un espace bruissant externe à l'Åuvre (celui du lecteur ou de la rue). Tous deux posent les sons à la façon de cartographe arpentant le désert, ils semblent dessiner les contours d'une géographie nomade. Lignes et points, guitares et sine waves, silences et sons. Ce qui pourrait sembler une leçon apprise relève plutôt d'une fascination en partage pour le moins, un même refus du bavardage, un amour de la note comme non plus un élément syntaxique mais un infini concret. Moins aride que la musique du japonais, celle de SKROBEK n'est pas exempte d'une certaine sensualité, comme une réminiscence du blues. J'avais pu écouter un de ses disques autoproduit où il ajoutait tambourin et flûte à l'instrumentation du "Palais Transparent", qui me semblait un travail plus original et moins appliqué, peut-être que j'aimerai entendre plus de désordre dans ses silences, peut-être aussi que Julien SKROBEK rouvre une voie qu'on pensait sans issue et montre dans ce disque qu'un road movie peut aussi s'écrire avec des silences bruyants.
Michel Henritzi



THE WIRE 290 APRIL 2008

Don't let the fact that the words FREE SOFTWARE SERIES are four times as big as the name of the composer put you off; Le Palais Transparent is a bona fide composition by 28 year old Paris based Julien Skrobek, and the software itself (Audacity under Debian, if you're interested) is but a means to an end, not an end in itself. It's used simply to sequence the sounding events, which consist of dabs of Skrobek's own guitar playing, and a filtered and processed 12,000 Hz sinewave.
More important is the dedication to überminimalist Radu Malfatti, whose music Skrobek analysed in detail prior to composing his three-movement work. "I took all the Malfatti records available and made transcriptions of everything: timing, tones and studied them," he explains. "I wanted to get his feeling of space and time." Mission accomplished - silence accounts for nearly 85 percent of the work's duration - but it would be wrong to see Skrobek as little more than a country priest in Pope Radu's church. Whereas MAlfatti's sounds are pale and unobtrusive, almost daring the listener to forget them as soon as they stop, Skrobek beautifully sculpted sinewaves and deftly placed Zen brushstrokes of guitar, reminiscent of Italia-period Taku Sugimoto, reveal a fine ear and a genuine fondness for intervals - at times unashamedly consonant ones - which resonate in the memory long after they've been swallowed up in blank digital silence. The work's title is also a nod to another master craftsman of poetic extremism, Morton Feldma,, whose Palais de Mari Skrobek, with commendable taste, also cites as an influence.
DAN WARBURTON


Sound Projector # 17 (UK)

Julien Skrobek has made Le Palais Transparent (FREE SS 03). Guitars and sine
waves were the primary sound sources for it, but they have been rendered using
Audacity sound manipulation running under the Debian operating system. Three
tracks across 46 minutes, and as most of the occupied time is pure silence, you
don't get much bang for your buck on this one; but when the guitar sounds do
appear for a few fleeting seconds, they are pretty awesome. Skrobek may fancy
himself as upping the ante on the ever-decreasing guitar playing of Taku Sugimoto.
A drawing of the transparent palace, made by Charlotte Thevenin, appears on the
front cover, and its imperceptible nature is suggested by the presence of thin silver
lines. A visitor to said palace might find themselves in the same trap as the hapless
space traveller of `In The Walls of Eryx', that famous H. P. Lovecraft story about
the glass maze. Skrobek's music, however, does not convey transparency so much
as utter invisibility. He has dedicated this ultra-minimal statement to Radu Malfatti,
the improvising trombonist who has worked with Mattin and whose radical,
challenging views on modern music and its audience are still dividing free-thinking
people everywhere.



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